TOPIC: t three to four weeks. Ginobili joins Danny Green
1 month 1 week ago #2204951
Those 36-year-old legs of Manu Ginobilis have been feeling pretty spry this season. That spring in his step that had been missing for so much of last season was back, helping the Argentine magician become a game-changer again for the San Antonio Spurs. So when the lane opened up in the third quarter Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets, Ginobili decided to go for it. He rose up, cradled the ball in his left hand and threw down a solid, one-handed dunk. And with that, Ginobili joined the growing list of injured Spurs. The team said Wednesday that Ginobili strained his left hamstring on the dunk and will miss the next three to four weeks. Ginobili joins Danny Green (broken finger), Kawhi Leonard (broken left hand) and Tiago Splitter (sprained right shoulder) on the teams injured list, a run of bad luck that has torn apart the teams depth, particularly on the wing. "You play the guys on the bench," San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. "We cant play the guys on the other team. I know that." The team is hopeful Splitter, who hasnt played since Jan. 4, will return in time for the teams annual rodeo road trip, a 10-game stint that begins Monday in New Orleans. That would help out Tim Duncan and the big men up front, but the problems on the perimeter remain. After struggling for much of last season, Ginobili signed a two-year contract to remain in San Antonio. He has rebounded this season to resume his role as the Spurs playmaker off the bench, averaging 12.1 points, 4.5 assists and shooting 52 per cent on his 2-point shots. During a monthlong stretch from the middle of December to the middle of January, Ginobili scored at least 20 points five times in a 16-game span to help the Spurs once again establish themselves among the NBAs elite teams. Hes been pretty healthy as well, missing two games earlier in January because of a sore left hamstring before injuring it more severely on Tuesday night. Ginobili, who has long been the emotional centre of this close-knit team, was dejected as he limped off the court. His injury puts even more responsibility on the shoulders of veteran Marco Belinelli, who has been a reliable shooter in a supporting role after coming over in free agency from the Chicago Bulls. Belinelli is averaging 10.9 points and shooting 46.7 per cent from 3-point range for the Spurs. With the injuries to Leonard and Green, Belinelli had become a starter on the wing and seen his playing time steadily increase. Belinelli played 38 minutes in the loss to Houston, and the Spurs recently signed NBDL standout Othyus Jeffers to a 10-day contract to give them another warm body on the perimeter. Thanks in large part to Ginobilis return to form, the Spurs entered Wednesdays game against the Bulls at 33-12, good for second place in the hyper-competitive Western Conference. But theyve lost three of their last four games, are 1-11 against the top seven teams in the league and now face the daunting challenge of that long road trip without Ginobili, and with Portland (33-13) and the Clippers (32-15) right on their heels. Chicago is facing its own injuries woes. All-Star point guard Derrick Rose was lost for the season with a knee injury for the second consecutive year and starting centre Joakim Noah (illness) and guard Kirk Hinrich (right hamstring) are game-time decisions for tonights game against San Antonio. So, Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he has little empathy for the Spurs, not because Chicago is also battling injuries, but because of how deep San Antonio is. "Its the nature of the league. Its the grind of an 82-game season. Youre going to take injuries on. Its how you respond and the Spurs have always done a good job with that. Its the way the Spurs are built." 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Striker Dario Mandzukic scored the opener in the 22nd minute but was given a red card nine minutes later for a reckless tackle and left Croatia with 10 men for the remainder of the match.Memphis, TN (SportsNetwork.com) - Memphis says it has punished 12 football players involved in an ugly brawl with BYU following the Miami Beach Bowl last month. The university said Tuesday the 12 players were issued stern and appropriate penalties for their roles in the fight, including suspensions ranging from a single half to two games, but did not name individual players. It said individual suspensions would be announced in conjunction with the first game next season. Memphis said in its statement that the programs worked together on the matter and that players from both teams would participate in a conference call where formal apologies will be issued. BYU did not announce any punishments, saying in a statement it was handling the matter internally. We are grateful for the cooperation and communication that has taken place between BYU and the University of Memphis in an effort to live up to the high ideals of sportsmanship to which we both aspire, the school said in an email to SportsNetwork.com. BYU also has completed a thorough review of the incident. The determined disciplinary measures are being handled internally. Memphis athletic director Tom Bowen said the university holds its students to the highest standards of sportsmanship and personal conduct. The actions of a few members of our football program in Miami were completely unacceptable, he said. I can assure our community, fans and stakkeholders that we have and will continue to hold our young men and women accountable and will use this unfortunate incident as a teaching tool for all our student- athletes moving forward.dddddddddddd Memphis issued its penalties following a review by the university and American Athletic Conference commissioner Mike Aresco. The penalties included mandatory anger-management counseling and community service hours and additional team-regulated punishments to be decided by head coach Justin Fuente and his staff. After Memphis beat BYU 55-48 in double-overtime on Dec. 22, a large on-field melee erupted in which players from both teams exchanged punches, leaving some bloodied. The brawl appeared to start with Memphis defensive lineman Martin Ifedi and BYU offensive lineman Tejan Koroma, but many other players were involved. In a blow captured live on the TV broadcast, BYU defensive back Kai Nacua punched Memphis tight end Alan Cross from behind as Cross was being held by one of his coaches. Nacua was bleeding from a cut below his left eye. Elsewhere, Memphis offensive lineman Chase Johnson was seen swinging his helmet at a BYU player and Cougars linebacker Harvey Langi appeared to throw several rapid punches at an opponent. Fuente said after the game, Its not who we are. Its not what we want to represent. 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